Robert Liberty to receive the Tom McCall Legacy Award

Alyson Marchi-Young
Tue, 01/30/2018 (All day)

Since its founding over forty years ago, 1000 Friends of Oregon has worked tirelessly to insure that Oregon has vibrant communities, healthy working lands, and unspoiled iconic places now and for future generations. The success of these activities is in no small part due to the dedication, passion, and leadership of Robert Liberty. Mr. Liberty’s body of work includes two decades with 1000 Friends of Oregon as a staff attorney and then as Executive Director.

When he arrived at 1000 Friends as a staff attorney, he led the creation and management of the organization’s Cooperating Attorneys Program (CAP). The CAP is still going strong and winning land use cases across the state! Just last year 1000 Friends won two LUBA appeals with support from CAP attorneys, and multiple other cases have been well resolved with the support of this volunteer attorney force.

As Executive Director, Mr. Liberty conceived of and directed the Land Use Transportation Air Quality (LUTRAQ) study, a monumental undertaking that still informs policy promoted by 1000 Friends and practiced by communities across the state and country. This work has led Oregon to be a more transit, bike, and walk friendly place - and more can still be done. It means that Oregon is not building unnecessary highways through valuable farmland, and it means that urban planning is wisely focused on the best use of our current urban lands.

While leading 1000 Friends, Mr. Liberty also insured the long-term financial health of the organization by establishing the McCall Society - supporting major giving and providing a community of like-minded and passionate people. The McCall Society and individual donors insure that 1000 Friends remains financially strong, even through more difficult times. Robert Liberty’s long-term planning and outlook for the organization’s overall health means that 1000 Friends can be here today to keep fighting for a workable land use system that prioritizes healthy open lands and livable cities and towns.  

As an active member of the community, Mr. Liberty kept working on smart land use policies on behalf of the Metro-area when he served as a Metro Councilor from 2004 - 2012, giving back time and talent to promote a healthy community. Now, at Portland State University, he is helping guide the next generation of land use leaders, advocates, and active civic participants who will help shape the Oregon of tomorrow.

Robert Liberty’s work has single-handedly insured that Oregon’s unique land use system not only survived, it has thrived. A body of work such as this must not go unrecognized. 1000 Friends of Oregon is very proud to recognize Robert Liberty with the Tom McCall Legacy Award this year in recognition of his deep devotion to the State of Oregon and outstanding commitment to land use planning.

Tom McCall Legacy Award recipients have dedicated a lifetime serving the state of Oregon, protecting our land use program, and enhancing it to better the lives of Oregonians everywhere. Mr. Liberty will be honored at our 2018 McCall Gala. Please join us this March in a toast to the incomparable Robert Liberty.